Here at TIHK we very often receive the question- why would anyone who isn’t a criminal need to carry a handcuff key?
The answer is simple: anyone can buy handcuffs. That includes people who intend to do you harm. And no… bad guys don’t all use duct tape or zip ties. Being prepared for anything means being prepared for the possibility that handcuffs could be used unlawfully against you. A few simple news searches should be enough to negate the argument that carrying a handcuff key amounts to nothing more than paranoia:
>>In the summer of 2015, a postal employee with a restraining order placed against him by family members was arrested and discovered to be in possession of multiple weapons and handcuffs on federal property. Read the story here.
>>In the fall of 2012, an offender with no prior record perpetrated multiple kidnappings and sexual assaults using, among other tools, a sedating drug, zip ties, and handcuffs. Read more.
>>Earlier this year, three victims were kidnapped and detained in handcuffs in the basement of a man who appeared to be having a “schizophrenic episode”. See the whole story.
>>This past spring an older man was handcuffed and physically assaulted in his own home after a group of burglars broke in. Read what happened next.
>>In 2015 an elderly couple was handcuffed as their home was burglarized of over $10,000 worth of cash and jewelry. See the rest.
These types of news stories go on for pages and pages with a simple internet search. These also don’t include any of the disturbingly numerous stories of individuals arrested for impersonating a police officer (including carrying handcuffs) for nefarious purposes.
The evidence that being prepared with a handcuff key for your own personal safety is a wise idea only mounts further when you consider the number of kidnappings and home invasions that occur on a yearly basis in the United States. In 2015 alone there were over 15,000 kidnappings and 449,000 burglaries and home invasions (statistics from the official FBI Crime in the United States report, available here: https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2015/crime-in-the-u.s.-2015).
There is simply no way to know that it won’t happen to you, and the circumstances are a crapshoot. Will you be home when your house is invaded? Will the perpetrators be violent? Will they attempt to restrain you? There are so many variables that you can neither predict nor control. When viewed from this perspective, the choice to carry a handcuff key on your person is the exact opposite of paranoia. It’s a wise decision made knowing that crimes involving handcuffs do happen, and being prepared in every way possible will provide you with increased peace of mind that you’ll be ready if, God forbid, it happens to you.